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Suzuki Savage

SAV9
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Suddenly you see them cut and cut everywhere. With exhaust wrap and a brave open exhaust. Never knew so many were sold. After all, the Suzuki Savage has a bad reputation?

The Suzuki Savage was made from 1986 to 2004

Apart from some minor exterior changes, the LS650 remained unchanged until the end of its production. Only some minor modifications were made and the model was given the name Boulevard S40. Initially, the bike was mainly considered easy to handle by beginners and ideal for people with a somewhat short running gear because of the seat height, but thanks to the simple design, the fun looks and the Spartan equipment, more experienced bikers eventually opted for this single-cylinder.


In the corridors and at drink tables you hear a lot about these Suzukis

The engine block would be a disaster due to the combination of the bad camshaft bearings and the almost 60 cm long oil supply line to the cylinder head. The long oil supply line meant that after a cold start, the camshaft was run dry for a few seconds, eventually leading to camshaft wear. That story is based on stupidity and haste. The Suzuki asked and just takes a little time to get going. After starting, give the block about thirty seconds to pump the oil to the head and then take it easy until the engine is warm. Keep it calm after that too.

If you don't pull that, then the Savage isn't your bike

Another pain point is not to rub the Savage: A block that runs as slowly as possible at no load is of course cool and tough. But it's the plague for the big end. What was really a thing was the cam chain tensioner. But if you just replace that part preventively, then there is little to worry about.

Due to its design and appearance, such a Savage is a funny thing

He's a bit tough, but still endearing. You have nothing to do with it on highways. But what good is boring straight highways if you are not allowed to go faster than 100? The Suzuki is also not made for long tours, not even because the tank capacity is limited. But with such a thick single-cylinder you can enjoy carefree small-scale loddle around on the nicest roads. And then the Suzuki Savage can just be a really nice companion.

And those things are offered surprisingly often

The lion's share has often been loosely converted into 'custom' or 'bratbike' or even into a cafe racer without much craftsmanship or budget. Those kinds of results of expressing the builders own unique identity are between € 1.000-1.500 in terms of pricing. And I wouldn't risk it. But a neat, original Savage with a well-running engine without a chattering cam chain? I'll see it one more time. Because that's just an endearing classic. And still a little tough. And give that block its thirty seconds to get the oil in the upper floor. Honda CB 450 Black Bomber owners already took that effort.

Read also:
– more stories about classic engines
- Suzuki GRD 650 (1983-1984)
- Suzuki Intruder: quite a nice thing
- Again classic: The Suzuki Intruder VS 1400
- The Suzuki DR 800, the Dr Big

Suzuki Savage
That's done civilly
Suzuki Savage
A step further…
SAV12
But I would leave it

Suzuki Savage

A neat copy at Biggelaar

SAV111

SAV222

8 Comments

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  1. During my college studies (90s), there was someone who used this bike to get to college. And then just at the moments when I was deep in the books, that person came "clapping" (they were indeed dry blows that came from the exhaust). Bicycle shed (where the motorbikes had to park) was right next to the lecture halls so you could hear him/her very well. Even if he left again, you would still wake up in the lecture halls for a while.

  2. Have you ever had to rid the main jet of misery on one, so that the thing only ran on thin air. After the vasodilator treatment, it was a smooth bike that indeed roared through the Limburg landscape with slow but powerful blows. Was a fun ride!

  3. The first series also had something to do with the solenoid that briefly lifted the exhaust valve during start… which sometimes refused, so that a part of the crankcase hit / broke during recoil.
    I think there was a modification to that later.

    Furthermore, nice pruttelcustompje; slow one-shot blows always do well on out-of-the-way roads.

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